Amigas program attacks breast cancer in Latina community
Latinas are more likely to die from breast cancer than Caucasian or African-American women because they are often diagnosed at a late stage of the disease.
That’s why MetroHealth developed Amigas Unidas (Friends United), a bilingual peer-to-peer grassroots volunteer program in which Latina women educate other women in their communities about breast cancer.
The program trains bilingual breast health advocates to become certified Amigas volunteers and connects Latina women to the MetroHealth BREAST program for free mammograms and to other community resources. In 2011, 370 women were screened, and 270 breast exams and 303 mammograms were provided through this program.
Early screenings and diagnosis improve the chance of survival. But many Latinas are reluctant to seek care due to a language barrier, lack of insurance or fear of the hospital setting. The MetroHealth Cancer Care Center BREAST/Amigas Program was established to reduce barriers to early screenings by providing free bilingual and culturally sensitive services including clinical breast examinations, mammograms and breast health education in community settings.
MetroHealth doctors and trained, bilingual staff partner with local agencies and churches to reach out to underserved and uninsured Latinas by setting up mobile clinics in convenient locations four times a year.
Women who are unable to attend one of the mobile clinics can schedule a free mammogram at MetroHealth.
To find out about the BREAST/Amigas Program, or if you are interested in a breast health education seminar or the mobile clinics, call 216-778-8557.